Matching Wine with Beef Tongue: My Chefs Under Fire Culinary Experience

Wine with Beef Tongue

The Winning Dish – Courtesy of Steven Doyle, Crave DFW

I attended the third annual 2011 Dallas/Fort Worth Chefs Under Fire Regional Culinary Competition last month at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center.  The contest, which is sponsored by the Keep Collection, LLC, was won by Kevin Martinez of Tokyo Cafe with a dish of seared tilefish, fresh peach and tomato salsa on a corn and okra-yuzu succotash topped with crispy shallots.  It looked great.  However, only the chef judges – Chef Tim Byres of SMOKE, Katie Natale of Four Seasons Resort and Club and Sharon Van Meter of Milestone Culinary Arts Center got to try the dishes.

Wine with Beef Tongue

The Wine Matching Challenge of a Lifetime

The rest of us had an array of appetizers to taste and a wine and food demo from Commissary Chef John Tesar, who prepared beef tongue, and Sommelier Scott Barber who had to match the dish with wines.  The question of the day is what wine do you serve with beef tongue?  Barber recommended two whites and a red.

Scott Chefs Under Fire

Scott Barber, the Man with A Plan — Courtesy of Steven Doyle, Crave DFW

Chefs Under Fire Wines

The Line Up

  • 09 Château de Sancerre “Passe Avant le Meilleur” Sancerre, Loire Valley.  The minerality, pepper and smoky taste came out when paired with the beef tongue. A very crisp and subtle wine that stood up to the green notes in the salsa verde sauce.
  • 2007 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese.  This wine paired surprisingly well with the spices used on the tongue and with the floral, honey and tropical notes.
  • 09 Château St. Jean de la Gineste Vieilles Vignes Corbières.  The lone red paired with the black fruit and Asian spices used in preparing the dish.  It was a mix of fruit and earthiness.

Gene and Julie Gates of 103.7 Lite FM cracked me up as guest emcees of the event.   

Chefs Under Fire Gene and Julie

Chef Martinez will now advance to compete at the Chefs Under Fire final competition to be held on October 16 in Austin, TX.  There, he will compete against Chef Daniel Valenzuela, a student at Escoffier School of Culinary Arts who won the Austin/San Antonio challenge, as well as the Houston Regional Winner for a one week stay in Los Cabos.